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(An ASKLEPIA FOUNDATION Book)

DREAMHEALING

CHAOS & 
THE CREATIVE CONSCIOUSNESS PROCESS

by
Graywolf Fred Swinney, M.A.
and
Iona Miller

Copyright, 1992; All Rights Reserved

DEDICATION:
Stanley Krippner, Ph.D. &  Ed Glovinsky, M.D.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

FOREWORD, by Stanley Krippner, Ph.D.
PREFACE
INTRODUCTION

PART I:  THE CREATIVE CONSCIOUSNESS PROCESS

Chapter 1:  Chaos Consciousness and Healing
Chapter 2:  Dreamhealing - The Heart of Dreams
Chapter 3:  Human Dimensions of Chaos Theory
Chapter 4:  Ego and Healing - A Model of Consciousness
Chapter 5:  Speculations on a New Paradigm

PART II:  DREAMHEALING - 
THE HEALING HEART OF DREAMS

Chapter 6:  The Shaman/Therapist - Imagination, Creativity & Vision
Chapter 7:  The Dream Journey as Heroic Quest
Chapter 8:  The Dream Guide - Navigating the Stream of Consciousness
Chapter 9:  Dream Journey Guidelines - The Practice of Dreamhealing
Chapter 10: Case Studies in Creativity

Bibliography
Index

FOREWORD
Stanley Krippner, PhD

In 1971, Fred Swinney was told by his physician that he had, at most, three years to live.  He suffered from hypertension, heart disease, ulcers, and hypoglycemia.  Seeing a connection between his weakened physical condition and his job pressures as an engineer, Swinney entered psychotherapy.  This experience not only alleviated his physical problems, but prompted him to enter a training program in Transactional Analysis.  Swinney received his license in Transactional Analysis in 1975 and began seeing clients.

In 1976, Swinney was travelling by canoe to James Bay in the northern Ontario wilderness.  One night, he feel asleep before the smoldering fire and had a dream in which animal predators emerged from the woods, tore him apart, and devoured him.  Waking in terror, Swinney opened his eyes and stared at the coals.  Just beyond, he could discern two yellow-green eyes and the shadowy form of a wolf.  Much to his surprise, Swinney experienced total surrender instead of fear.  he stared at the wolf, the worlf appeared to stare back, and Swinney felt a oneness with all that surrounded him.

Eventually the wolf slipped back into the forest, but Swinney still felt its presence in his mind and body.  He realized that in some strange way he had become a wolf.  Having been devoured in his dream, he had been reborn a wolf upon awakening.  A few weeks later, Swinney left the wilderness and returned to his family and clients.  He attempted to forget the episode since it had been remarkably different than anything he had previously experienced.  Swinney completed his Master's degree in 1980 and avoided any activity that would again evoke his wolflike nature.

Five years after, during a group therapy session held while fire was flickering in Swinney's fireplace, one of his clients expressed extreme anger.  Suddenly, Swinney had a mental image of Libra, the Greek goddess of justice, holding her balanced scales.  He asked his client if she could relate to this image.  The woman erupted with emotion, telling the group how, during her childhood, her mother had tried to treat her and her sister equally.  When the client did not experience this fairness in later life, it upset her and she could not cope with other people very well.  Upon working through her memories of her early experiences and subsequent expectations, the client was able to accept the inequities in her relationships.  Eventually, she was able to terminate therapy.

Swinney realized that his evocation of the image resembled his experience with the wolf.  Similar episodes occurred.  Invariably, Swinney's images, hunches, and insights were of great value to his clients.  Swinney realized that the wolf had returned and had demonstrated the way in which it could be of assistance, even in civilization.

Swinney resolved to learn more about wolves and was surprised to read that in all probability the wolf he had seen in Canada would not have attacked him as he slept before his fire.  Two friends gave him books about wolves even though they knew nothing about his resolution or his experience in the forest.  Swinney's readings also yielded information about shamans and how they frequently dream about being devoured and reborn during their initiation and training.

Swinney also learned that shamans were the world's first psychotherapists.  Shamans often claim to have animal "guides" that assist their work with clients, and often report feelings of unity with their surroundings.  After five years of running away from his inner wolf, Swinney again surrendered, just as he had that night in the woods before the coals of his campfire.  He took the name "Graywolf" and introduced elements from shamanism into his work as a psychotherapist.  Graywolf used rituals and ceremonies with his clients, both in individual and group sessions.  He looked for mythic themes, animal "guides," and spiritual symbols in his clients' dreams.  He made use of guided imagery sessions and had clients carve, draw, mold, or paint those images that seemed to possess healing qualities.  He encouraged body awareness through breathing exercises, dance, and movement.

Graywolf had shared these experiences with me when we first met.  We saw each other again in 1984 at the annual meeting of the Association for Humanistic Psychology near Boston.  I was scheduled to give a presentation on shmanism with a colleague who was flying in from out of town.  My colleague's flight was delayed; thus I asked Graywolf to take his place.  Graywolf told his story to a group of several hundred people and led them in some breathing and imagery exercises that he had found useful with his clients.  Graywolf's comments were very well received and he felt positive about sharing his private experiences with a large group of interested people.

Since that time, Graywolf has shared his experiences with thousands of individuals and dozens of groups.  In addition, he has moved from Western psychotherapy to native shamanism to the dreamhealing tradition of ancient Greece and Rome.  But this is hardly a step backwards, as he has combined this with chaos theory, arguably one of the most vital models of the upcoming 21st century.

Chaos theory is the branch of mathematics for the study of processes that seem so complex that at first they do not appear to be governed by any known laws or principles, but which actually have an underlying order that can be described by vector calculus and its associated geometry.  Examples of chaotic processes include a stream of rising smoke that breaks down and becomes turbulent, water flowing in a stream or crashing at the bottom of a waterfall, electroencephalographic activity of the brain, changes in animal populations, fluctuations on the stock exchange, and the weather -- either local or global.  All of these phenomena involve the interaction of several elements and the pattern of their changes over time.

The rate of change of each of the variables or elements involved depends on the other variables, and the rules of the rate of change must be nonlinear for the chaotic temporal patterns to occur.  When basic processes of systems are connected interactively, they are called "dynamical systems," which is the parent branch of mathematics of which chaos theory is a subdiscipline.

Classical chaos theory deals with a calculus of infinite duration and resolution which, of course, may or may not exist in the actual world, but is beyond the resolution of our knowledge of the actual world.  Thus, in the mathematical models of chaos one encounters "sensitivity to initial conditions" where even the smallest difference in initial conditions can lead to a large difference in position later on within a chaotic attractor.  Therefore, since our knowledge of initial conditions is never exact but bound to inexact observation, our prediction into the future is limited, more so the further into the future we try to predict.  Until recently, it was presumed that chaotic systems, like classical linear systems, tended toward stable equilibrium (fixed point) or period attractors and that the erratic behavior found in actuality resulted from unidentified variables not yet detected.

For example, researchers believed that the weather would be predictable if it were somehow possible to gather enough information about all relevant variables.  Precision about knowledge thus derives not from insufficient information about the number of processes involved which could be very few to describe very complex chaotic attractors, but from the complexity of their interaction plus the imprecision concerning our measurement information at some arbitrary starting time about the exact state of the system.  Our useful knowledge of the system, which is very orderly and deterministic, concerns its behavioral characteristics, i.e. the features of the attractor, rather than making an exact prediction of its future state at an exact time.

Geometric patterns with repetitive self-similar features have been called "fractals" because of their fractional dimension, and because of the sheer beauty of these forms.  Many chaotic attractors display fractals when sliced, like opening an orange.  Thus, fractal dimensions are one of the many numerical properties used to characterize chaotic attractors along with measures of the simultaneously convergent and divergent characteristics which have led many to characterize chaotic attractors as like the stretching and folding of bread dough or taffy.  Rapid Eye Movement sleep (the period of the sleep cycle from which most dream reports emerge) could be chaotic in nature and contain this type of attractor.

Graywolf grounds his work in chaos theory, but he also claims roots in the ancient Asklepian temples.  Here it was the dream experience itself, not the interpretation of the dream, that was felt to heal pilgrims.  One of Graywolf's contributions to the field of dreamworking is his facilitation of a healing effect directly from the dream process itself.  His client's dream experiences are just as carefully nurtured as those provided by the Greek and Roman priests; Graywolf's contrivances range from dream incubation to white river rafting!  Graywolf claims that in some cases only one such intense event may be necessary to produce a lasting positive change in a client's life.  Before dismissing this possibility as wishful thinking or self-deception, one should consider that a single traumatic event can have devastating effects; the power of recovery can certainly be as forceful as the tumult of trauma.  In addition, one needs to examine Graywolf's 8-step process that encompasses this life-changing event, steps that range from "the pilgrimage" to "the re-entry."

Graywolf's Creative Consciousness Process is based on a unique model of the human psyche, and can provide a roadmap for the tribal shaman as well as the dreamhealer.  Both frequently travel into the mythic underworld to find and retrieve the lost souls of their clients.  I have seen contemporary shamans make this perilous journey on behalf of a person whose soul has been absconded by the forces of addiction, depression, or life-threatening accidents.  Sometimes, the soul must be persuaded to return; at other times it does not know it is lost and must be informed; and on still other occasions the soul is held captive by the spirits of cocaine, heroin, alcohol, or other seductive substances.  Most contemporary psychotherapists dismiss the concept of "soul" as superstitious, yet they do so at their peril.  They may treat their clients' bodies, feelings, and intellects, but may never restore wholeness to them unless they explore the spiritual dimension of the psyche.

In Graywolf's model, the shaman/dreamhealer and his or her client emerge from the depths of the psyche through various development levels, beginning with conception and ending with behavior.  The lost soul has been found, retrieved, and revitalized, and this new wholeness is reflected in the client's daily activities.  The source of dreams, according to Graywolf, is located at primal levels of the psyche as the brain experiences itself during sleep.  Like the fractals of chaos theory, brain centers undulate through cycles of firing and rest, processing both externally-generated and internally-generated input, shaping plots and narratives, creating symbols and metaphors.  Once more, order is generated from chaos.

Another one of Graywolf's contributions is to find the genesis of the Creative Consciousness Process in evolutionary theory and ecological psychology.  Rapid Eye Movement sleep probably served an evolutionary function as small mammals formulated strategies of survival during sleep, checking them against the memories of their daily experience.  This was the beginning of the brain's capacity to create stories from the morass of internally-evoked images during the night -- stories that would often become cultural and personal myths, themselves important determinants of social survival.  In our time, as Earth itself struggles to survive the onslaught of human exploitation, the Creative Consciousness process sees its task as reminding individuals and groups of their connection to the rest of Nature, and to awaken them to the fact that the very survival of humankind may rest on honoring this connection, not severing it still further.

Tribal shamans recognized the ecology of consciousness; their techniques often were chaotic yet the disorder produced through drumming, dancing, and mind-altering plants induced shifts in consciousness that led to a new order that could be both healing and life-enhancing.  I have participated in sweat lodge rites, drumming ceremonies, and dancing rituals where the heat was so intense, the music was so overwhelming, and the movement so exhausting that the only way to stay with the process was to shift into a state of consciousness where my ordinary limitations were expanded or transcended.  Again, order can emerge from chaos; today's shaman/dreamhealer takes advantage of this knowledge.

Graywolf has facilitated numerous hero's and heroine's journeys for his clients over the past several years, encouraging their departure, validating their discoveries, and celebrating their return.  They realize at profoundly deep levels of the psyche where their growth has been stalemated and how flow can be restored.  By providing sacred internal and external sites for this change to occur, Graywolf has revived the dreamhealing tradition.  Asklepios would be pleased.

PREFACE

The field cannot well be seen from within the field.
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

In my travels, presenting workshops on dreamhealing and creative healing, I have found that many professionals (psychotherapists, counselors, social workers, addiction counselors, etc.) and paraprofessionals (such as hypnotherapists) state that they came because they experienced limitation in the current forms of psychotherapy and counseling that are available.

They all come with the sense of looking for something more, something that goes beyond the abilities or the models that are currently available.  Many of them have been attracted to alternatives such as shamanism, through books, articles, and interviews, describing these forms of healing.  Many came to learn more because of the sense that what they were doing had just not been enough.  Many have been drawn by an intuition sensed while reading a flyer, feeling it had something special to offer them.

These comments are a reflection of my own frustration several years ago, when as a Transactional Analyst and psychotherapist my clients would come to me after we had met their therapeutic contracts.  In the exit interviews they would opt to continue in therapy, not because something was wrong, but because they had not yet found what they were really looking for.

The solving of their problems seemed to them only a first step in a far deeper and more profound process.  It was this that led me to contemplate and explore other forms of healing.  I was seeking other forms of answers for myself and others.  This book represents the interim or status report of my explorations.  Although it does not really provide answers, it does suggest new directions.

This book is about my personal encounter with chaos as I struggled to better understand the nature of healing.  It is a very intimate story since the development of my work has been a personal odyssey.  I share my story because we know that first person accounts and memories have the power to speak to the souls of others.  Dreamhealing is more than a method.  It is a living process and a philosophy of treatment.

Both the fields of psychology and physics have long been interested in the interface of psyche and matter.  Another way to put that is the interface of mind and body.  Ultimately, they are not separate, but to see that requires a shift in consciousness.

Since healing's a matter
of mind over matter,
and matter's a matter of mind...
In matters that matter
when healing's what matters,
love is the state
of the mind.

The shift in consciousness is one in which psyche "matters."  And psyche includes both order and chaos.  Chaos is not an idea.  It is visceral, arising deep within.  It is part of the human condition.  Each of us tends to understand, in spite of what we know about order, that our life is full of chaos.  Most of the important things in our life seem to be random.  Small changes in knowledge, insight, or experience can impact us in tremendous ways.  Things we never expect to happen can bring irreversible change into our lives.

For me, chaos was not an idea that helped me develop a model for healing.  Chaos theory came later as an explanation for what I was noticing in the process of healing.  I do not think healing is a mechanistic thing.  I do not think we manipulate the body to heal it.  It helps, and it sets an atmosphere and stage for healing.

However, I think true healing is a matter of consciousness.  Voltaire has said that, "the art of medicine consists of amusing the patient while nature cures the disease."  Perhaps Sir William Osler was even more succinct, noting, "It is much more important to know what sort of patient has a disease, than what sort of disease a patient has."

Healing is not a matter of how we manipulate the body chemistry.  It is largely based on the attitude of the individual and what underlies the structure of the body and mind.  And what really does underlie the structure of the mind and body is consciousness.

The ancient Greeks personified healing consciousness as the divine physician ASKLEPIOS.  The core of the art of healing in ancient times came from the inner connection between the divine healer and the divine sickness.  The god sent both the affliction and the remedy.  ASKLEPIOS HEALED PRIMARILY THROUGH DREAMS.

Thus Asklepios, or Aesculapius as he was known in Rome,  embodied the paradox of healing.  The idea of poison and antidote being contained in one substance is still found in the unconscious of modern man.  It is practiced in the art of homeopathy.  The therapy process which is based solely on the imagery of the individual means that within the problem lies the solution.

In the ancient healing temples, this psychological form of homeopathy was applied to ailments both physical and mental.  It involved coming into a right attitude toward the affliction.  Our wounds open us to healing.  After incubation of dreams within the sacred precinct, the entire art of healing was left to the divine physician, who was embodied in the healing dream, which was the remedy itself.  It involved altering states of consciousness.

One of the things I noticed in exploring psychology and shamanism was my introduction to chaos, but then I did not have the words. I began exploring my own healing through shamanism and psychology and that evolved into the dreamwork.  Then, I began drawing maps of the journeys I was going on with people.  I found particular states of consciousness repeatedly came up spontaneously in the healing process.

I did not have a language to describe some of those states of consciousness.    I would try to describe them scientifically, and felt the reports were flat.  It was just not right.  It was like using words or mathematics to describe a symphony.  I would then get into the mystical, new age, and shamanic explanations, and get turned off by them.  They also were not right.  It was like using an abstract painting as an instruction manual.

Then a conscious awareness of the operative principle of chaos came to me, much like the first trip deeper into dreams.  In one of those serendipitous moments, I mentioned to a client that I was getting interested in moments of chaos in the healing process.  She brought me an article, which I read about a week later, and everything came together.  I realized I had been observing the healing process taking the sense of self deeper and deeper into consciousness to a state that can only be described as an experience of chaotic consciousness for healing.

A DEEP EXISTENTIAL IMAGE OF WHO AND WHAT WE ARE CONTAINS THE ESSENCE OF OUR DISEASE.  The image is revealed in the continually ongoing inner process of imagery which is revealed in dreams, visions, and gut reactions.

Water is a natural metaphor of consciousness.  This deep stream of consciousness flows through the labyrinth of the psyche.  It is the source of dis-ease and our healing.  Water played an important part in the cult of Asklepios.  In Greece the springs of the shrine were channeled into circular labyrinths, forming a concrete metaphor of the healing process.  Healing "springs" from deep within.  However, first the old rigid images must be dissolved, and THE UNIVERSAL SOLVENT IS CHAOS.

Clients reported encountering a place, after going through fears and pains, that is totally disorienting, chaotic.  They would, for example, enter into a gray cloud, and become that cloud, and the mind would go totally blank.  Or they would enter into a spiral, and as they gave over to the motion of that spiral, they became so totally disoriented that there was nothing they could hang onto.  And that is what we now define as chaotic consciousness.

There is an essential relationship between healing and irrational consciousness.  Irrational consciousness "works" the cure.  Somehow that chaotic consciousness, the giving up of the order, the letting go of the old structure to chaos changed things fundamentally.  The next set of imagery emerging out of that chaotic consciousness was always a healing one.

Physical and emotional changes would continue for weeks and even months after a particular dream journey.  They would come back and say, "I don't know why I am different, but I am different.  I'm behaving differently, I'm reacting differently.  I'm treating the world differently.  What used to be a physical problem for me is no longer a problem."

So chaos seems vitally important at the existential level.  In psychology, we have had the idea that we need a "strong ego," that we need a stable structure in order to function and cope.  Dreamhealing shows us we actually need to enter a less-rigid process of flow, which increases our adaptability, helping us evolve.

Strength is a measure of what force it takes to destroy or break a rigid structure.  True power, on the other hand, is a measure of readily-available energy for immediate use.  Strength is rigid, while power is flowing.  Empowerment flows forth naturally when we come into intimate contact with our stream of consciousness.

We are learning from chaos theory that physically and mentally we also need that disorder to function smoothly.  We seem to need to dip into that disorder because it shakes everything loose and allows restructuring to occur in the direction of adaptability.  All of a sudden we are free, we are flowing again, and that is the natural human condition of health.

WE EXIST IN A TWILIGHT ZONE BETWEEN CHAOS AND ORDER.  We flow back and forth between them and that keeps us healthy.  We build a structure and the structure begins to develop flaws and rigidities, and our illness comes when we hang onto that old wornout, yet rigid structure.  But when we let go, we let ourselves flow back into that primal chaos and into total freedom.  It is like a heart that periodically develops a chaotic beating pattern to renew itself.  We seem to need that within our consciousness, too.

To me chaos, healing, awareness, and consciousness are almost synonymous terms.  They are important to the human condition.  They are crucial to all of it including our health, healing, and ability to move through life.  CREATIVITY IS ALSO EVOLUTION.  For example, disease is the crisis that forces the organism to expand beyond its limits and evolve.  It is part of the evolutionary action of natural selection.  Those who adapt, survive.  Still, health means more than survival.  An individual can create neurotic means of coping and surviving, but they limit and distort the functionality of the person.

Of all the new advances to come from the various sciences, perhaps the largest contribution will come from consciousness studies and their relationship with chaos.  Even physics has recently been saying that we cannot go much further until we understand consciousness better.  The relationship of the perceiver and the object of perception brings us back to the mind/matter issue.

The marriage of physics and psychology may delve deeper into the mystery.  Physics and psychology have been trying to get together for years and it has never really advanced beyond the speculation stage.  This bridge between consciousness and chaos may be more than a metaphor.

DREAMS ARE CHAOTIC BY NATURE, AND SO IS MUCH OF SHAMANIC PRACTICE.  Dream incubation, as practiced in Greece, Egypt, and Japanese Shintoism, also involved such shamanic practices as divination, trance induction, etc.  They intentionally evoked the irrational, and of all the healing modalities, these two reflect chaotic theory.

There are many topics to consider in applying chaos theory to consciousness.  We hope to show the underlying threads that weave together shamanic practice, the ancient healing cults, the flowing philosophy of Taoism, and various modern psychologies with dreams, healing, and chaos theory.

The dreamhealing experience can be used in therapy, or for self-help, recovery, and enrichment.  For those who have been through conventional recovery groups, counseling, and traditional therapy, it is a way of creating an intimate relationship with their own Higher Power, which is always molding the soul through the imagery of the river of consciousness.  It directly impacts the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual well-being of the individual.  Conventional therapy does not necessarily induce creativity, nor open a person to the transpersonal realm.  Taking our own "JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH" means penetrating our depths and finding the vast cosmos within.

The theory presented here in terms of human consciousness may ultimately be linked with other theories about the nature of chaos and the universe to form a supertheory, or paradigm.  In this new paradigm, we are all enfolded within an infinite field of consciousness.  It means a fundamental shift in the way we view the world, the cosmos, and ourselves.

The problem is that medical science and psychological science still operate largely from Newtonian physics models.  Healing science has not made the leap to relativity theory yet, much less quantum mechanics, or chaos theory.  There needs to be a way to apply the theory to psychological or other kinds of healing practice.  Chaos theory may relativize many of the old approaches, and provide a key for unlocking more of the mysteries of existence.

THE PROCESS OF CREATIVITY IS ONE OF NEW FORMS EMERGING FROM THE VOID, NEW FORMS THAT HAVE NOT EXISTED PREVIOUSLY.  It is not merely a juggling of existing forms or ideas into a new configuration, but is more of a quantum leap, a disruption into new levels of consciousness and awareness.

Chaos theory provides a particularly apt metaphor for this process.  In a nutshell, CHAOS THEORY STATES THAT IN ALL APPARENT STRUCTURE IS HIDDEN CHAOS AND THAT IN CHAOS THERE ARE HIDDEN FORMS.  This is much like the symbol of the Tao.  The white YANG side contains a kernel of darkness, and the black YIN side a kernel of light.  In some sense reality is a twilight zone existing in the interplay of chaos and form.  It has long been known that all systems eventually break down into chaos (i.e. the third law of thermodynamics, also known as entropy).  But what chaos theory has added is the notion that chaos creates new forms.

If this sounds metaphysical it is because we are very close to the basic creation myth of most religions--everything comes out of nothing, the primal CHAOS.  It applies to the current scientific creation myth of the big-bang formation of the universe.  In science myths are fantasized by calling them theories.  Chaos as the matrix of creation is a universal mythic theme.  It spans from Taoism (from the nothingness or chaos was formed the Yin and the Yang and from these all other things were formed) to Christianity (first there was darkness, nothing or absence of form, and from this on the first day God created light...).  CHAOS IS THE CRUCIBLE OF CREATION.

In practical everyday ways, chaos theory is adding to our understanding of processes at all levels: weather systems, social systems, traffic patterns, animal migrations, evolutionary patterns, fluid dynamics, cosmology, quantum flux, and on and on.  Medical science has discovered that the healthy heart periodically has chaotic or random variations.  The heart with completely regular rhythms is likely to malfunction and is subject to heart attack.  Similarly with many other physiological systems, including brainwaves, periodic chaos seems to be a prerequisite to healthy functioning.

The implication is that form and rigidity need to periodically give way to non-structure and chaos for renewal and recreation.  Much as the "dance of Shiva" destroys the existing forms so that new reality can be created, we can foster the disintegration of outworn images of ourselves.

This is true on the most subjective levels of our experience also.  If you have been faced with a problem, either physical, emotional, or mental which eludes solution, that really means that the forms and structures present in your intellect or other ego coping systems have become too rigid and locked into some form so you cannot see beyond them.  This is the condition of impasse, stuckness.  In essence, you need a creative solution, one beyond the ego, one emerging from the undefinable creativity of chaos.

One way of subjectively perceiving chaos is an absence of any form or structure, a state of no-thing-ness, and when confronted with this the human mind perceives either total blankness, or confusion and discomfort as the existing patterns break down.  It is a little death of the old self.  For example, after pondering and working on a problem for some time that does not yield to our usual problem-solving techniques, we become frustrated and often confused.  Just when it seems we have been defeated and give up feeling overwhelmed, a new and original solution "pops" into our mind out of nothingness.  A complete answer, often symbolic or metaphorical in form, represents a novel solution.  It is a quantum leap in understanding and consciousness--often a whole new way of perceiving reality.

But letting go of the old forms is frightening.  We identify with them, and to a large degree define our sense of self by them.  To forsake them is to dissolve that part of self, to let it die.  Most of us are only comfortable in the known territory within the limits of our belief systems.  These beliefs define the limits of our reality and existence.  The creative solution often exposes the limits of our beliefs by moving beyond them, and thrusts us into unknown territory, and that is frightening.

We try to hang on to the old limits even if it means we are destroyed or have to hang on to our problem rather than letting go to move into a broader awareness and reality.  We mark the boundaries of our belief systems with fear and discomfort to keep ourselves safe and enclosed.  If we, by chance, stray beyond them ,we doubt and deny the experiences by calling them trite--lollygagging, daydreaming, stargazing.  We ignore the images thrust up by our imagination that with some further thought might reveal the creative solution to a problem that has been plaguing us.

So we avoid creativity, holding ourselves at bay through fear and discomfort.  The more fundamental and rigid, the more tightly we remain ringed in by our fears.  Conversely, to embrace creativity we must pass through the discomfort of confusion, and let go of what we know and are comfortable with.  It is, in essence, a leap of faith beyond the known into chaos and into the void.

It is an inner journey, this leap--deep within each of us.  Like The Fool in the Tarot, we stand at the edge of a precipice.  Inherent in our being and structure is chaos, just as science has shown.  This level of awareness, this state of chaos is our creative consciousness -- CHAOTIC ONSCIOUSNESS -- the crucible of our creative spirit.  Only by entering it, yielding to it, do we allow newly evolved form to come into being--to arise out of chaos.  It is a journey through fear to a life in which each moment is an act of personal creation and freedom.

In healing, like cures like.  The poison is also the panacea.  In learning to live with chaos, it becomes not something to be denied nor gotten rid of, rather something to be embraced deeply.  In embracing the chaos, and tuning in to its self-directing flow, we feel we have remained true to the spirit of the phenomenon itself.

In dreamhealing we move deeper into the images, then become them, rather than interacting with them.  So too with other states of consciousness we encounter.  The disorienting, dizzying surrender to the tornado or whirlpool is a surrender to chaos, an experience of no-form and total confusion and disorientation.  It is like the whirling, twisting molecule of water in the chaotic world of non-laminar flow.

The experience of committing oneself to the fire means becoming it, and as the random flickering of the flames, and the torrid heat, disintegrating into pure energy.  Becoming the boiling, flowing, ever-changing body of molten magma at the core of the earth is felt as a visceral sensation.  These are some of the personal, subjective responses to the experience of total chaos.

Always, passing through this state, the new order of imagery, thought, emotion, sensory perception reflected a new and less dis-eased state of being.  The deeper self image undercut the old belief system, and began to create a new order of being, a new way of perceiving the self and the world.  Chaos provided a new image around which to order the personality and often the physiology.

Each of these observations had a counterpart in the new science based on chaos.  Order seemed to be present in the chaotic state  of mind, just as chaos really seems to underlies even the most rigid and orderly intellect.  The images themselves that were from the chaos had their counterpart in the strange attractors described by this radical new mathematical model.

The images, the deep primal multi-sensual experiences and perceptions that I was working with seemed to act like psychic magnets, attracting and ordering the energies around them, which echoed their shapes and forms.  And like the fractal patterns displayed on a computer screen, the quantum shift came when the attractor values were changed.  The old image that lay on one side of the chaos state gives way to a surprising new image that arises out of the chaos.

Spirit, soul, beliefs, emotions, thinking, and behavior are all affected.  This 'sacred psychology', (a term coined by Jean Houston), and the Creative Consciousness Process thus mirror not only the new models of energy dynamics, but also the ancient dream temples and mystery schools of the healer Asklepios.  Here new physics and consciousness meet.

                                                             --Graywolf, 1992

INTRODUCTION

Psyche cannot be totally different from matter, for how otherwise could it move matter?  And matter cannot be alien to psyche, for how else could matter produce psyche?  Psyche and matter exist in the same world, and each partakes of the other, otherwise any reciprocal action would be impossible.

If research could only advance far enough, therefore, we should arrive at an ultimate agreement between physical and psychological concepts.  Our present attempts may be bold, but I believe they are on the right lines.

                                                                                 --Carl Jung, AION

Scientific revolutions and paradigm shifts happen in various disciplines on a regular basis.  Some practitioners in a field are quick to adapt new models into their conceptualizations and work, while others who are reluctant to change cannot make the leap in consciousness.  Continuing to adhere to outdated, but familiar philosophies and practices, they represent the established order and its preference for the status quo.

The healing arts, both medical and psychological, have not been exempt from this persistent human pattern, even though in our understanding of the fundamental nature of reality through scientific understanding, advances have been phenomenal.

The popularity of the alternative health movement, human potential movement, recovery movement, and self-help has shown that a large segment of the population is open to change in their approach to well being.  A variety of so-called healing techniques have become available with widely varying credibility and results.

Whether they have any scientifically traceable therapeutic effect, or not, most are rooted in the idea of treating the WHOLE PERSON, rather than mechanically treating bodies in a maintenance factory.  Alternative health practices encourage preventive maintenance as well as physical and psychological self-care, not just crisis management.

OLD SCIENCE/NEW SCIENCE

The history of science is one of evolution, whereby old models are integrated into or superceded by more encompassing models which push beyond the old boundaries.  For example, in physics, which is generally considered the base science that sets the foundation for others, the mechanical view of reality and the nature of the universe described by Newtonian physics gave way to the "relativistic" concepts of Einstein, which in turn became accompanied by Quantum Mechanics, and now Chaos Theory (CDS).

Newton postulated a clockwork universe based on absolute motions.  This theory alleged that once the initial conditions and forces were known, all future motion could be predicted infinitely.  This seemed to work well for calculating planetary motion and other large-scale phenomena, but in the sub-atomic world the theory was superceded by the inherent uncertainty of Quantum Mechanics.

These models have shown themselves to be functionally accurate -- that is they account for observed reality -- but only by ignoring or denying chaos.  For centuries, science has shuttled chaotic phenomena off to the side, because they could not define or explain it.  Current research tells us that there is chaotic fluctuation in the planetary motion and the Universe contains several "strange attractors" of vast proportion.  In the sub-atomic reality, chaos is probably the agent behind quantum fluctuation.  So it is fundamental.

The reality is not one of a clockwork universe, but a flow between chaos and anti-chaos which creates adaptation.  Chaos begets order, and order begets chaos (entropy).  This holds true at all levels of phenomena, macrocosm to microcosm: "AS ABOVE, SO BELOW."

This interplay of chaos and order also influences biological evolution.  Darwin could never have guessed the existence of self-organization as an innate property of complex systems, like genes acting as self-regulating networks.  Now we are beginning to understand evolution as the marriage of natural selection AND self-organization.

The chaos of which we speak is not totally random, but deterministic.  We can see its enfolded order now thanks to the advent of sophisticated computer graphics with incredible calculating ability.  Now we can separate the signal from the noise, informationally speaking, and find the hidden order.  But we still can never predict an outcome for any period of time, but we can predict parameters.  And we can visually realize the beauty of these mathematical concepts through fractals.

Chaos theory has amplified the classical and quantum worldviews into one in which reality may be seen as a SHADOW OF ILLUSION, existing on the edge between chaos and order.  We all have direct perception in our lives of the continual by-play between chaos and order, chaos and order.  We are taught that chaos can be catastrophic or barely disturbing, but rarely are we taught that the experience of chaos and the letting go which accompanies it are OK.

The interplay of chaos and order represents a fundamental, yet paradoxical state which is a union of opposites at the boundary where they mesh.  In the past many cultures developed philosophies which embraced chaos as a welcomed part of growth and healing.

For example, in medieval alchemy, the legendary PRIMA MATERIA symbolized both the chaotic beginning of the enterprise and the most primal state of being -- chaos, as initial and most fundamental condition.  The return to favor of chaos in science may herald its return in our culture.  It may mean a release for some from rigidly ordered lives of compulsivity, perfectionism, workaholism, and rationalism toward a more balanced lifestyle.

Established medical and psychological science is still based on the theories of Newton.  The human, by and large, is seen as a mechanical collection of parts interacting and following set rules or laws.  And in psychology, for the most part, the mechanistic model still prevails, perhaps in its latest incarnation as the cybernetic model ("mind as computer").

Though the shamanic approach to the whole person is just as strongly rooted in tradition, most of medical science does not recognize the role of spirit, soul, or emotional attitudes in healing except in the most superficial way.  Alternative health practices are allegedly holistic, but mostly use unorthodox ways of dealing with symptoms or parts of the person.  They may strike a deeper chord, yet not get to the core of the problem.

Healing science still continues the Newtonian illusion that 1). it is possible to be outside of what is happening, as an objective observer who manipulates the client, and that somewhere is an absolute or non-involved frame of reference against which all can be measured; and, 2). it is possible to understand the whole by reducing it to its parts and studying them.

As guiding philosophies, underlying principles, the foundational concepts of the new science of chaos theory are still unknown and foreign territory.  But they speak volumes of the true nature of reality.  Here lies fertile ground, at last, for planting the seeds to heal the mind/body split fostered by Cartesian duality.

Psychosomatic phenomena show the profound synergistic interaction of the physical and mental worlds--which in fact are ONE WORLD.  For example, it is well-known in medicine that arthritis sufferers have a characteristic personality profile, which can be revealed using the MMPI (Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory).  It is sometimes referred to as "the iron hand syndrome."  Desperate desire for a strong sense of control seems to lead to a permanent position of "holding on" in the musculature and skeletal structure of the hand.

Emotions can damage health since emotions and the body are inseparable.  The psyche effects the body through the glands, allowing the personality to invite dis-ease.  When not brought into consciousness, unconscious conflicts can manifest as symbolic (though real) ailments.

BODY LANGUAGE is direct: "I can't stomach this."  "It's eating away at me." might indicate ulcers.  Other well-known psychosomatic disorders include asthma, allergies, colitis, anorexia, bulemia, panic attacks, hypertension, certain skin disorders, and perhaps even some cancers.

A woman who longs for her unborn children may develop benign fibroids or malignant tumors, instead.  These and other diseases indicate that there is significant emotional conflict within.  The arthritic, for example, reacts with unconscious muscular contraction, like an infant instead of an adult.  The asthmatic may be drowning in the inner sea of emotional turmoil; the allergy sufferer holding back a reservoir of uncried tears.

THE ESSENCE OF BEING HUMAN IS EXPERIENCED AS CONSCIOUSNESS.  The entire organism and its functioning is affected by the state of consciousness.  In this context, consciousness means a field in which the entire universe participates.  In our model of consciousness, this field is described as being not unlike Jung's concept of the collective unconscious.  We use the term to mean the essence of existence, the primal matrix of both organic and inorganic life as a self-organizing, self-generating, and self-iterating force.

Our essence emerges from this vast pool of force (SOURCE), and throughout growth and development certain aspects of it enter our awareness, while others remain subconscious or unconscious, but affect us just the same.  This field is a medium of connectivity which interacts with the time/space field, gravitational field, and electromagnetic fields which create the foundation of our dimension.

Thus we experience ourselves as conscious, corporeal entities existing in three spatial dimensions plus time.  This is our experience because of the limits of our information input system--the senses.  We have extended our senses through technology from incredibly finite realms to the edge or birth of the universe.

Our awareness cannot be limited to a view of ourselves as humans in local time and space.  Our consciousness can soar, through imagination and creativity, like an eagle far and wide, drawing from the collective to widen our experiential perspectives.  Our larger reality is that WE ARE ONE WITH ALL, and we can feel that when we look at ourselves that way.  Even science tells that everything in the universe is simply connected, a seamless webwork of waves with intentionality--a sea of consciousness.

The bottom line is that reality is not at all like what we have been conditioned to believe up until now.  Our concepts are much too narrow, too rigid, too mechanistic, and too confining.  Now chaos theory and fractal geometry are pushing the boundaries even further, suggesting a reality that includes the precious component of subjective human experience in the laws of science.

Physics has traditionally led the way for the other sciences.  Chaos theory is beginning to permeate astronomy, biology, sociology, meteorology, and so many more fields.  Researchers and clinicians are exploring and slowly transforming these sciences to the new base, creating new practices and possibilities beyond evenour wildest imaginings.  The phenomena of healing and parapsychology are some of the heretofore unrecognized markers of chaotic consciousness.  THE STUDY OF CONSCIOUSNESS IS A GATEWAY FOR EXPLORING THIS NEW SCIENCE.

A NEW PARADIGM

Profound healing calls for dealing with the whole of the human condition including the body, mind, and spirit totality.  These three elements converge deep within our consciousness at a level beyond our normal awareness.  Whole-healing is most effectively accomplished at this level.

PROFOUND HEALING INVOLVES AN INNER JOURNEY DEEP INTO CONSCIOUSNESS TO THIS CORE OF BEING.  This state of consciousness can be subjectively experienced in the form of a multi-sensory image,  In leading clients on these healing quests, we have observed that this state of consciousness is directly connected to the state that can only be described as PURE CREATIVE ENERGY, or the core of our creative essence and spirit.

HEALING THE TOTAL ORGANISM INVOLVES YIELDING THE DISEASED FORM OR IMAGE TO THIS 'CREATIVE STATE' AND SUBSEQUENTLY EMERGING FROM IT WITH A NEW, MORE HARMONIOUS AND BALANCED FORM.  The outer structure of the body and personality soon begin to restructure, to reflect the new form.  In other words, HEALING IS AN ACT OF CREATION.

FROM THE DESCRIPTIONS OF THE SUBJECTIVE EXPERIENCE OF THIS STATE, AND FROM OUR PERSONAL JOURNEYS, IT IS A STATE OF FORMLESS CHAOS.

This description of the healing process bears a remarkable resemblance to those put forth in chaos theory to describe complex dynamic phenomena.  The resemblance does not end there.  Explorations of this healing process and chaos theory's descriptions of natural processes show an uncanny convergence in all respects.

THE SHAMAN/THERAPIST

There are many paths or ways to reach this profoundly healing creative state of consciousness.  The shaman/therapist model is one and represents a gestalt, combining the powerful consciousness-altering rituals, worldviews, and visionary experiences of the shamans with the techniques, theories, and practices of depth psychologies.

Shamans have existed throughout human history as experts in magic, mysticism, healing and consciousness journeys into altered states.  Psychology, based in science, knows how to manipulate and work within the ego.  This combination, this gestalt of mysticism and science creates a new dimension in worldview and practice.  It transcends the duality of  mystical vs. scientific and provides a perspective unavailable to either one alone, one much more than the simple sum of the two.

We offer the analogy of binocular, as opposed to monocular, vision.  If you close either eye, you get a relatively complete picture of what you are looking at, though it lacks depth.  It may be slightly displaced depending on which eye you use, and will shift back and forth as you shift eyes.  But no matter how fast you shift, if you are only using one eye, it is a two dimensional view of reality.  However, when both eyes are open, the perspective centers, and a new dimension of depth is perceived.

Thus, the shaman/therapist model is not just a simple mixing, or borrowing of techniques from one to the other, but instead calls for a quantum shift in worldview, one that moves beyond either alone.  Armed with this, we can undertake the creation of a profound healing, through and beyond the ego to this profound and creative state of consciousness that provides our form and the core of our being.  Here, we create our healing from within.  We experience first-hand that personal power (empowerment) arises from within.

DREAMHEALING: 
A JOURNEY INTO THE HEART OF DREAMS

Dreams bridge the gap between the mystic and the scientific worldviews.  MOST WOULD AGREE THAT DREAMS ARE A TRULY CHAOTIC PHENOMENON.  An object of scientific study and a healing tool of the psychotherapist, they are firmly entrenched in the scientific worldview, albeit on the fringe.  On the other side, most religions teach that God, or the nature of God, is revealed through dreams and visionary experience.  THIS IS THE ESSENCE OF EPIPHANY OR APPEARANCE OF THE GOD.  In fact, most religions report that it is in this way that God communicates with us.

High roads to the unconscious, connections to God and the soul, DREAMS ARISE FROM OUR CREATIVITY.  Each dream symbol is an expression of our creative energy, shaped by its journey through our psyche.  But no matter what its shape, the root of each symbol and THE HEART OF EACH DREAM IS PURE CREATIVE ENERGY.

The symbol is nothing more than a doorway opening into a chain of consciousness states that lead us to this creator--creative energy that can heal us.  Thus, DREAMHEALING IS NOT AN INTERPRETIVE OR ANALYTICAL WAY OF UNDERSTANDING A DREAM, BUT IS AN INNER CONSCIOUSNESS JOURNEY INTO ITS HEALING HEART.

In both these models the therapist is not an objective, outside observer-manipulator of the process.  Instead, the therapist is a full participant in the journey, a guide who enters into consciousness states and subjectively participates in it as s/he leads the pilgrim to the healer within.

The beauty of this approach is that it empowers.  There is no doubt that the healer power is always within the patient, unlike the medical model in which the healing is seen to be rendered to the patient by the surgeon, the therapist, the drug, or the new age approach  (where again the healer is from the outside--a shaman, a crystal, a ritual, or the act of a god or spirit acting through a channel).  The healer is found to be within, and that direct experience is empowering.

We call this healing method by the acronym "SECURE THERAPY."  It is a therapy based in creativity, imagination, and intuition.  The letters of the word 'secure' reflect the main results of the therapy itself:

S - Self Esteem
E - Empowerment
C - Consciousness-expansion
U - Unification
R - Re-creating 
E - Experiential restructuring

These are all keywords in this system which will be amplified and reiterated throughout the dreamhealing papers.

A TAOIST PHILOSOPHY OF TREATMENT

Through the course of developing this system of dreamhealing, certain themes have continued to be of interest.  Among them are nature, creativity, holism, existentialism, intuition, relativity, perception, letting go and emptiness.  The same themes hold importance in shamanism, Gestalt psychology and Maslow's personality theory.  Over time Graywolf noticed that, in retrospect, when he added all his instinctual attitudes, intuitive understanding, mental knowledge, and philosophical speculation together, that the mix comes out fairly close to Taoism.

It just happened that Graywolf's style came to reflect these principles as a sort-of philosophy of treatment.  In other words, this healing model is not derivative, nor contrived around these principles.  It has just evolved over time into a certain resonance with Taoism.

Taoism places emphasis on flow, drawing primarily on the metaphor of water's natural behavior.  This certainly resonated with Graywolf's personal dedication to the waters of the planet (also, he is a Cancer).  His commitment to the planet, and the bliss and serenity he has found river rafting in wilderness areas has given him a profound experiential and observational insight into this philosophy.

The Tao, itself, revealed graphically in the YIN/YANG symbol, escapes any attempt at definition.  In fact, "the Tao that can be expressed is not the eternal Tao; the name that can be defined is not the unchanging name."  The Tao is the divine way of the universe, a path of least resistance, the essence of all life.

In Taoism, divinity is both transcendent and immanent, without and within.  In this philosophy, the yin forces are exalted, and the creative force is called the mother of all things.  It can only be known through mystical insight.  It refers to the way we should order our lives to flow with the way the universe operates.

The typical themes and premises of Taoism share much in common with shamanism, Gestalt therapy, Maslow's concepts of self actualization and peak experience, and modern chaos theory.  They hold in common the principle of harmonization with nature.  They manifest as existential philosophy, nature mystic experiences, and process-oriented therapy.  The principle of "flow as health" is fundamental to both Gestalt and Maslow's psychology.  The concept of "universe as bountiful parent" is somewhat reflected in the Higher Power model and re-parenting.

Contrary to the schismatic, out-dated Western view, nature, man, and God are not separate.  Nature obeys the law of effortlessness, and we can too when we tune in with our deeper essence.  Taoist thought has the principle of WU WEI, which is that through inaction and passivity (yin forces), true results are obtained.  IT IS A PHILOSOPHY OF BEING, NOT DOING.

The aim of the wise one is ethical living (integrity), in harmony with the Tao, by living in accord with nature.  And nature unfolds or creates through the dynamics of chaos and flow.  It is a way of living which minimizes stress, strain, and striving.

We can learn directly, experientially from nature.  Not just by observing her, but by immersing ourselves in her, becoming one with Her again.  This is one reason Graywolf prefers to conduct sessions on the river, an experience we call "whitewater and dreams."  The river teaches us about the nature of flow, and has a spontaneous healing influence.  Just being on the river with the intent of inner transformation brings about many changes in clients which would be much more difficult in a sterile office setting.

Nature provides many natural metaphors which parallel, evoke, and mirror human transformation.  Taoism reveres the virtues of water first and foremost as exemplifying the Tao, itself.  Parallels with process-oriented psychology are easy to find in Taoist literature.

The natural phenomena which the Taoists saw as bearing the closest resemblance to Tao itself was water.  They were struck by the way it would support objects and carry them effortlessly on its tide.  The Chinese character for swimmer, deciphered, means literally "one who knows the nature ofwater."  Similarly one who knows the nature of the basic life-force knows that it will sustain him if he will only stop his thrashing and flailing and trust it to buoy him and carry him gently forward.

...Water, then, was the closest parallel to Tao in the natural world.  But it was also the prototype of WU WEI.

...Yet despite its accommodation, water holds a power unknown to hard and brittle things.  In a stream it follows the stones' sharp edges only to turn them in the end into pebbles, rounded to conform to its streamlined flow.  It works its way past frontiers and under dividing walls.  Its gentle current melts rock and carries away the proud hills we call eternal.

...Infinitely supple yet incomparably strong--these virtues of water are precisely those of WU WEI as well.  The man who embodies this condition, says the TAO TE CHING, works without working."  he acts without strain, persuade without argument, is eloquent without flourish, and makes his point without violence, coercion, or pressure.  Though as an individual he may be scarcely noticed, his influence is in fact decisive.

...A final characteristic of water that makes it an appropriate analogue to WU WEI is the clarity it attains through being still.  "Muddy water let stand," says the TAO TE CHING,  "will clear." ...Clarity can come to the inner eye, however, only in so far as man's life attains a quiet equaling that of a deep and silent pool.

In Taoism, nature is befriended.  Taoism seeks to be in tune with nature.  Joseph Campbell was fond of quoting D.T. Suzuki on western religion.  To paraphrase, it went something like "God against man, man against God, man against nature, nature against God...hmmm...strange religion!"  The division of spirituality from instinctuality is fundamental in conventional western religion (though not in paganism).  It is the source of much psychological distress.  Taoism's approach is basically ecological, an organic philosophy of nature.

Taoist philosophy just turns out to closely resemble the view modern science has been forced to adopt after three centuries of mechanical materialism.  Taoist naturalism combines with an inclination for naturalness to emerge as simple living in touch with nature, nature without and within.  Extravagance, honors, prestige, and consumption are of little importance in this philosophy.

THE ESSENTIAL THING IS AN EXISTENTIAL RAPPORT WITH THE TAO.  The Taoist is concerned with a sort of immediate, inner, intuitive enlightenment.  Fundamental to this is the relativity of all values and perceptions, rather than polarized opposites which can never meet.  The Tao symbol graphically depicts the paradoxical union of  opposites, as discrete yet conjoined, as yin and yang.  They express the nature of continuous transformation within the Tao.

Taoism shuns all clear-cut dichotomies for a paradoxical union of opposites.  The great Mystery transcends polarity.  No perspective in this relative world can be considered as absolute.  Polarity sums up all life's basic oppositions: good-evil, active-passive, positive-negative, light-dark, summer-winter, male-female, etc.  But though its principles are in tension they are not flatly opposed.  They complement and counterbalance each other.

Taoism follows its principle of relativity to its logical limit, regarding life and death themselves as relative phases of the Tao's embracing continuum.  This bears on our attitude towards our own mortality, and our ability to feel and express grief.  We have all known those who have gone through life as the "living dead," just going through the motions of life, with little or no connection to their bodies or the greater whole.

Also, our attitudes when confronted with catastrophic illness reflect our philosophy of life.  The motto for the terminally ill has become the question, "Will you live your dying, or die your living."  Living each day anew, as a unique experience, means living with a "beginner's mind."

Taoism is a way of PERCEIVING with a blank mind, which therefore knows nothing of limitation.  There is a story of Chuang Tzu, the foremost popularizer of philosophical Taoism. (He is the one who dreamed he was a butterfly dreaming he was a man...)  While strolling on a bridge with Hui Tzu, the Confusianist, he observed:

"Look how the minnows dart hither and thither at will.  Such is the pleasure fish enjoy."

"You are not a fish," responded Hui Tzu.  "How do you know what gives pleasure to fish?"

"You are not I," said Chuang Tzu.  "How do you know I do not know what gives pleasure to fish?"

The nature of perception was also revealed experientially in esoteric Taoism. This phase arose as the Chinese mind was first discovering its inward dimension and was captivated by it.  This still happens on the individual level when we come in contact with our process.  It is fascinating and captures our attention and creative interest.  We become intrigued with our inner drama, the flow of the stream of consciousness.

Esoteric Taoists believe that successive deposits of toil and worry had so silted up the soul that it was necessary to work back through their layers until "man as he was meant to be" was reached.  Pure consciousness would then be struck; at last, the individual would see not merely "things perceived" but "that by which we perceive."

The Tao is ineffable and transcendent, yet also immanent.  It is eternal and immediate.  It is an infinitely generous fountain, flowing, driving all of nature as the ordering principle behind all life.  It is the way of the universe, of ultimate reality.  It can be approached through magic, mystical experience, philosophical rapport, and the intuitive existential openness.  It manifests as "creative quietude," paradoxically combining supreme activity and relaxation.

Every artist has discovered that genuine creation comes from the release of the infinite resources of the deep self.  It requires a certain dissociation from the surface self, and most artists have rituals for creating.  The unconscious mind must relax, let go, and creativity flows spontaneously.  When the artform is therapy, the creative result is healing.   Personal ego and conscious efforts yield to a power not their own.  Then behavior flows spontaneously; ACTION FOLLOWS BEING.  Lao Tze said, "The way to do is be."

Another key element in Taoism is the VOID, or empty space, or emptiness.  Taoist skill is seldom noticed, for viewed externally WU WEI--never forcing, never under strain--seems quite without effort.  The secret here lies in the way it seeks out the empty spaces in life and nature and moves through these, like water.  Tao, as the inexpressible source of being, is spoken of in some sense as non-existence.  It is the power of passivity.  The Taoist mystic chose to empty his mind, gaining inner perception of the Tao, attaining a oneness with the Eternal.

This emptying, non-attachment, or non-involvement was echoed later in humanistic psychology and Gestalt therapy.  Like Zen philosophy, Taoism encourages us to grasp the moment before it flies and use it to enter the great Emptiness, that Void from which all the ten thousand things have sprung, and to which they still, and forever, belong.  Fritz Perls considered the person who had no fixed character to be the most flexible and adaptable.

Dr. Suzuki refers to the everyday mind as the Tao.  By that he says he means the unconscious, which works all the time in consciousness.  He makes a distinction between the "purely instinctive unconscious" as found in children and animals and that of a mature, "trained unconscious."

By this later term he implied the kind of awareness proper to a really mature human being in which the unconscious experiences gone through since infancy are included as constituting a part of the whole being.  He spoke of the proper use and understanding of the unconscious as "the fountainhead of all creative possibility," and without denying the importance of the mind, he uttered some warnings against the modern tendency to disconnect the brain from the larger field of man's total humanness.

Elsewhere Dr. Suzuki has said, "The function of human consciousness, as I see it is to dive deeper and deeper into its source, the unconscious.  And the unconscious has its strata of variable depths; biological, psychological, and metaphysical.   One thread runs through them, and Zen discipline consists in taking hold of it in its entirety."

THE TAO IS UNFATHOMABLE, INEXHAUSTIBLY DEEP, AND UNFATHOMABLE.

So many modern scientific and psychological principles are contained in this simple philosophy.  It anticipated Einstein's concept that "all is relative."  It echoes the ecological philosophy of shamanism and the modern green movement.  It speaks directly to the "here and now" perspective of existential philosophy, Gestalt therapy, and humanistic psychology.  The pleasure in the simple is a criteria for Maslow's self-actualizers.  One of Jung's major themes was the paradoxical union of opposites, and their synthesis in a grander, harmonizing symbol.

Taoism is one of the root philosophies of world-wide culture which shows the importance of the intuitive, creative, and reverie states--of letting go to experience our primal being as emptiness or the Void.  This consciousness is part of the return of the lost Feminine to western culture.  It is Her voice that has been missing for so long, drown out by patriarchal culture.  Our culture is now becoming one big, chaotic mix.

INTRODUCTION

Psyche cannot be totally different from matter, for how otherwise could it move matter?  And matter cannot be alien to psyche, for how else could matter produce psyche?  Psyche and matter exist in the same world, and each partakes of the other, otherwise any reciprocal action would be impossible.

If research could only advance far enough, therefore, we should arrive at an ultimate agreement between physical and psychological concepts.  Our present attempts may be bold, but I believe they are on the right lines.

                                                                                 --Carl Jung, AION

Scientific revolutions and paradigm shifts happen in various disciplines on a regular basis.  Some practitioners in a field are quick to adapt new models into their conceptualizations and work, while others who are reluctant to change cannot make the leap in consciousness.  Continuing to adhere to outdated, but familiar philosophies and practices, they represent the established order and its preference for the status quo.

The healing arts, both medical and psychological, have not been exempt from this persistent human pattern, even though in our understanding of the fundamental nature of reality through scientific understanding, advances have been phenomenal.

The popularity of the alternative health movement, human potential movement, recovery movement, and self-help has shown that a large segment of the population is open to change in their approach to well being.  A variety of so-called healing techniques have become available with widely varying credibility and results.

Whether they have any scientifically traceable therapeutic effect, or not, most are rooted in the idea of treating the WHOLE PERSON, rather than mechanically treating bodies in a maintenance factory.  Alternative health practices encourage preventive maintenance as well as physical and psychological self-care, not just crisis management.

OLD SCIENCE/NEW SCIENCE

The history of science is one of evolution, whereby old models are integrated into or superceded by more encompassing models which push beyond the old boundaries.  For example, in physics, which is generally considered the base science that sets the foundation for others, the mechanical view of reality and the nature of the universe described by Newtonian physics gave way to the "relativistic" concepts of Einstein, which in turn became accompanied by Quantum Mechanics, and now Chaos Theory (CDS).

Newton postulated a clockwork universe based on absolute motions.  This theory alleged that once the initial conditions and forces were known, all future motion could be predicted infinitely.  This seemed to work well for calculating planetary motion and other large-scale phenomena, but in the sub-atomic world the theory was superceded by the inherent uncertainty of Quantum Mechanics.

These models have shown themselves to be functionally accurate -- that is they account for observed reality -- but only by ignoring or denying chaos.  For centuries, science has shuttled chaotic phenomena off to the side, because they could not define or explain it.  Current research tells us that there is chaotic fluctuation in the planetary motion and the Universe contains several "strange attractors" of vast proportion.  In the sub-atomic reality, chaos is probably the agent behind quantum fluctuation.  So it is fundamental.

The reality is not one of a clockwork universe, but a flow between chaos and anti-chaos which creates adaptation.  Chaos begets order, and order begets chaos (entropy).  This holds true at all levels of phenomena, macrocosm to microcosm: "AS ABOVE, SO BELOW."

This interplay of chaos and order also influences biological evolution.  Darwin could never have guessed the existence of self-organization as an innate property of complex systems, like genes acting as self-regulating networks.  Now we are beginning to understand evolution as the marriage of natural selection AND self-organization.

The chaos of which we speak is not totally random, but deterministic.  We can see its enfolded order now thanks to the advent of sophisticated computer graphics with incredible calculating ability.  Now we can separate the signal from the noise, informationally speaking, and find the hidden order.  But we still can never predict an outcome for any period of time, but we can predict parameters.  And we can visually realize the beauty of these mathematical concepts through fractals.

Chaos theory has amplified the classical and quantum worldviews into one in which reality may be seen as a SHADOW OF ILLUSION, existing on the edge between chaos and order.  We all have direct perception in our lives of the continual by-play between chaos and order, chaos and order.  We are taught that chaos can be catastrophic or barely disturbing, but rarely are we taught that the experience of chaos and the letting go which accompanies it are OK.

The interplay of chaos and order represents a fundamental, yet paradoxical state which is a union of opposites at the boundary where they mesh.  In the past many cultures developed philosophies which embraced chaos as a welcomed part of growth and healing.

For example, in medieval alchemy, the legendary PRIMA MATERIA symbolized both the chaotic beginning of the enterprise and the most primal state of being -- chaos, as initial and most fundamental condition.  The return to favor of chaos in science may herald its return in our culture.  It may mean a release for some from rigidly ordered lives of compulsivity, perfectionism, workaholism, and rationalism toward a more balanced lifestyle.

Established medical and psychological science is still based on the theories of Newton.  The human, by and large, is seen as a mechanical collection of parts interacting and following set rules or laws.  And in psychology, for the most part, the mechanistic model still prevails, perhaps in its latest incarnation as the cybernetic model ("mind as computer").

Though the shamanic approach to the whole person is just as strongly rooted in tradition, most of medical science does not recognize the role of spirit, soul, or emotional attitudes in healing except in the most superficial way.  Alternative health practices are allegedly holistic, but mostly use unorthodox ways of dealing with symptoms or parts of the person.  They may strike a deeper chord, yet not get to the core of the problem.

Healing science still continues the Newtonian illusion that 1). it is possible to be outside of what is happening, as an objective observer who manipulates the client, and that somewhere is an absolute or non-involved frame of reference against which all can be measured; and, 2). it is possible to understand the whole by reducing it to its parts and studying them.

As guiding philosophies, underlying principles, the foundational concepts of the new science of chaos theory are still unknown and foreign territory.  But they speak volumes of the true nature of reality.  Here lies fertile ground, at last, for planting the seeds to heal the mind/body split fostered by Cartesian duality.

Psychosomatic phenomena show the profound synergistic interaction of the physical and mental worlds--which in fact are ONE WORLD.  For example, it is well-known in medicine that arthritis sufferers have a characteristic personality profile, which can be revealed using the MMPI (Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory).  It is sometimes referred to as "the iron hand syndrome."  Desperate desire for a strong sense of control seems to lead to a permanent position of "holding on" in the musculature and skeletal structure of the hand.

Emotions can damage health since emotions and the body are inseparable.  The psyche effects the body through the glands, allowing the personality to invite dis-ease.  When not brought into consciousness, unconscious conflicts can manifest as symbolic (though real) ailments.

BODY LANGUAGE is direct: "I can't stomach this."  "It's eating away at me." might indicate ulcers.  Other well-known psychosomatic disorders include asthma, allergies, colitis, anorexia, bulemia, panic attacks, hypertension, certain skin disorders, and perhaps even some cancers.

A woman who longs for her unborn children may develop benign fibroids or malignant tumors, instead.  These and other diseases indicate that there is significant emotional conflict within.  The arthritic, for example, reacts with unconscious muscular contraction, like an infant instead of an adult.  The asthmatic may be drowning in the inner sea of emotional turmoil; the allergy sufferer holding back a reservoir of uncried tears.

THE ESSENCE OF BEING HUMAN IS EXPERIENCED AS CONSCIOUSNESS.  The entire organism and its functioning is affected by the state of consciousness.  In this context, consciousness means a field in which the entire universe participates.  In our model of consciousness, this field is described as being not unlike Jung's concept of the collective unconscious.  We use the term to mean the essence of existence, the primal matrix of both organic and inorganic life as a self-organizing, self-generating, and self-iterating force.

Our essence emerges from this vast pool of force (SOURCE), and throughout growth and development certain aspects of it enter our awareness, while others remain subconscious or unconscious, but affect us just the same.  This field is a medium of connectivity which interacts with the time/space field, gravitational field, and electromagnetic fields which create the foundation of our dimension.

Thus we experience ourselves as conscious, corporeal entities existing in three spatial dimensions plus time.  This is our experience because of the limits of our information input system--the senses.  We have extended our senses through technology from incredibly finite realms to the edge or birth of the universe.

Our awareness cannot be limited to a view of ourselves as humans in local time and space.  Our consciousness can soar, through imagination and creativity, like an eagle far and wide, drawing from the collective to widen our experiential perspectives.  Our larger reality is that WE ARE ONE WITH ALL, and we can feel that when we look at ourselves that way.  Even science tells that everything in the universe is simply connected, a seamless webwork of waves with intentionality--a sea of consciousness.

The bottom line is that reality is not at all like what we have been conditioned to believe up until now.  Our concepts are much too narrow, too rigid, too mechanistic, and too confining.  Now chaos theory and fractal geometry are pushing the boundaries even further, suggesting a reality that includes the precious component of subjective human experience in the laws of science.

Physics has traditionally led the way for the other sciences.  Chaos theory is beginning to permeate astronomy, biology, sociology, meteorology, and so many more fields.  Researchers and clinicians are exploring and slowly transforming these sciences to the new base, creating new practices and possibilities beyond evenour wildest imaginings.  The phenomena of healing and parapsychology are some of the heretofore unrecognized markers of chaotic consciousness.  THE STUDY OF CONSCIOUSNESS IS A GATEWAY FOR EXPLORING THIS NEW SCIENCE.

A NEW PARADIGM

Profound healing calls for dealing with the whole of the human condition including the body, mind, and spirit totality.  These three elements converge deep within our consciousness at a level beyond our normal awareness.  Whole-healing is most effectively accomplished at this level.

PROFOUND HEALING INVOLVES AN INNER JOURNEY DEEP INTO CONSCIOUSNESS TO THIS CORE OF BEING.  This state of consciousness can be subjectively experienced in the form of a multi-sensory image,  In leading clients on these healing quests, we have observed that this state of consciousness is directly connected to the state that can only be described as PURE CREATIVE ENERGY, or the core of our creative essence and spirit.

HEALING THE TOTAL ORGANISM INVOLVES YIELDING THE DISEASED FORM OR IMAGE TO THIS 'CREATIVE STATE' AND SUBSEQUENTLY EMERGING FROM IT WITH A NEW, MORE HARMONIOUS AND BALANCED FORM.  The outer structure of the body and personality soon begin to restructure, to reflect the new form.  In other words, HEALING IS AN ACT OF CREATION.

FROM THE DESCRIPTIONS OF THE SUBJECTIVE EXPERIENCE OF THIS STATE, AND FROM OUR PERSONAL JOURNEYS, IT IS A STATE OF FORMLESS CHAOS.

This description of the healing process bears a remarkable resemblance to those put forth in chaos theory to describe complex dynamic phenomena.  The resemblance does not end there.  Explorations of this healing process and chaos theory's descriptions of natural processes show an uncanny convergence in all respects.

THE SHAMAN/THERAPIST

There are many paths or ways to reach this profoundly healing creative state of consciousness.  The shaman/therapist model is one and represents a gestalt, combining the powerful consciousness-altering rituals, worldviews, and visionary experiences of the shamans with the techniques, theories, and practices of depth psychologies.

Shamans have existed throughout human history as experts in magic, mysticism, healing and consciousness journeys into altered states.  Psychology, based in science, knows how to manipulate and work within the ego.  This combination, this gestalt of mysticism and science creates a new dimension in worldview and practice.  It transcends the duality of  mystical vs. scientific and provides a perspective unavailable to either one alone, one much more than the simple sum of the two.

We offer the analogy of binocular, as opposed to monocular, vision.  If you close either eye, you get a relatively complete picture of what you are looking at, though it lacks depth.  It may be slightly displaced depending on which eye you use, and will shift back and forth as you shift eyes.  But no matter how fast you shift, if you are only using one eye, it is a two dimensional view of reality.  However, when both eyes are open, the perspective centers, and a new dimension of depth is perceived.

Thus, the shaman/therapist model is not just a simple mixing, or borrowing of techniques from one to the other, but instead calls for a quantum shift in worldview, one that moves beyond either alone.  Armed with this, we can undertake the creation of a profound healing, through and beyond the ego to this profound and creative state of consciousness that provides our form and the core of our being.  Here, we create our healing from within.  We experience first-hand that personal power (empowerment) arises from within.

DREAMHEALING: 
A JOURNEY INTO THE HEART OF DREAMS

Dreams bridge the gap between the mystic and the scientific worldviews.  MOST WOULD AGREE THAT DREAMS ARE A TRULY CHAOTIC PHENOMENON.  An object of scientific study and a healing tool of the psychotherapist, they are firmly entrenched in the scientific worldview, albeit on the fringe.  On the other side, most religions teach that God, or the nature of God, is revealed through dreams and visionary experience.  THIS IS THE ESSENCE OF EPIPHANY OR APPEARANCE OF THE GOD.  In fact, most religions report that it is in this way that God communicates with us.

High roads to the unconscious, connections to God and the soul, DREAMS ARISE FROM OUR CREATIVITY.  Each dream symbol is an expression of our creative energy, shaped by its journey through our psyche.  But no matter what its shape, the root of each symbol and THE HEART OF EACH DREAM IS PURE CREATIVE ENERGY.

The symbol is nothing more than a doorway opening into a chain of consciousness states that lead us to this creator--creative energy that can heal us.  Thus, DREAMHEALING IS NOT AN INTERPRETIVE OR ANALYTICAL WAY OF UNDERSTANDING A DREAM, BUT IS AN INNER CONSCIOUSNESS JOURNEY INTO ITS HEALING HEART.

In both these models the therapist is not an objective, outside observer-manipulator of the process.  Instead, the therapist is a full participant in the journey, a guide who enters into consciousness states and subjectively participates in it as s/he leads the pilgrim to the healer within.

The beauty of this approach is that it empowers.  There is no doubt that the healer power is always within the patient, unlike the medical model in which the healing is seen to be rendered to the patient by the surgeon, the therapist, the drug, or the new age approach  (where again the healer is from the outside--a shaman, a crystal, a ritual, or the act of a god or spirit acting through a channel).  The healer is found to be within, and that direct experience is empowering.

We call this healing method by the acronym "SECURE THERAPY."  It is a therapy based in creativity, imagination, and intuition.  The letters of the word 'secure' reflect the main results of the therapy itself:

S - Self Esteem
E - Empowerment
C - Consciousness-expansion
U - Unification
R - Re-creating 
E - Experiential restructuring

These are all keywords in this system which will be amplified and reiterated throughout the dreamhealing papers.

A TAOIST PHILOSOPHY OF TREATMENT

Through the course of developing this system of dreamhealing, certain themes have continued to be of interest.  Among them are nature, creativity, holism, existentialism, intuition, relativity, perception, letting go and emptiness.  The same themes hold importance in shamanism, Gestalt psychology and Maslow's personality theory.  Over time Graywolf noticed that, in retrospect, when he added all his instinctual attitudes, intuitive understanding, mental knowledge, and philosophical speculation together, that the mix comes out fairly close to Taoism.

It just happened that Graywolf's style came to reflect these principles as a sort-of philosophy of treatment.  In other words, this healing model is not derivative, nor contrived around these principles.  It has just evolved over time into a certain resonance with Taoism.

Taoism places emphasis on flow, drawing primarily on the metaphor of water's natural behavior.  This certainly resonated with Graywolf's personal dedication to the waters of the planet (also, he is a Cancer).  His commitment to the planet, and the bliss and serenity he has found river rafting in wilderness areas has given him a profound experiential and observational insight into this philosophy.

The Tao, itself, revealed graphically in the YIN/YANG symbol, escapes any attempt at definition.  In fact, "the Tao that can be expressed is not the eternal Tao; the name that can be defined is not the unchanging name."  The Tao is the divine way of the universe, a path of least resistance, the essence of all life.

In Taoism, divinity is both transcendent and immanent, without and within.  In this philosophy, the yin forces are exalted, and the creative force is called the mother of all things.  It can only be known through mystical insight.  It refers to the way we should order our lives to flow with the way the universe operates.

The typical themes and premises of Taoism share much in common with shamanism, Gestalt therapy, Maslow's concepts of self actualization and peak experience, and modern chaos theory.  They hold in common the principle of harmonization with nature.  They manifest as existential philosophy, nature mystic experiences, and process-oriented therapy.  The principle of "flow as health" is fundamental to both Gestalt and Maslow's psychology.  The concept of "universe as bountiful parent" is somewhat reflected in the Higher Power model and re-parenting.

Contrary to the schismatic, out-dated Western view, nature, man, and God are not separate.  Nature obeys the law of effortlessness, and we can too when we tune in with our deeper essence.  Taoist thought has the principle of WU WEI, which is that through inaction and passivity (yin forces), true results are obtained.  IT IS A PHILOSOPHY OF BEING, NOT DOING.

The aim of the wise one is ethical living (integrity), in harmony with the Tao, by living in accord with nature.  And nature unfolds or creates through the dynamics of chaos and flow.  It is a way of living which minimizes stress, strain, and striving.

We can learn directly, experientially from nature.  Not just by observing her, but by immersing ourselves in her, becoming one with Her again.  This is one reason Graywolf prefers to conduct sessions on the river, an experience we call "whitewater and dreams."  The river teaches us about the nature of flow, and has a spontaneous healing influence.  Just being on the river with the intent of inner transformation brings about many changes in clients which would be much more difficult in a sterile office setting.

Nature provides many natural metaphors which parallel, evoke, and mirror human transformation.  Taoism reveres the virtues of water first and foremost as exemplifying the Tao, itself.  Parallels with process-oriented psychology are easy to find in Taoist literature.

The natural phenomena which the Taoists saw as bearing the closest resemblance to Tao itself was water.  They were struck by the way it would support objects and carry them effortlessly on its tide.  The Chinese character for swimmer, deciphered, means literally "one who knows the nature ofwater."  Similarly one who knows the nature of the basic life-force knows that it will sustain him if he will only stop his thrashing and flailing and trust it to buoy him and carry him gently forward.

...Water, then, was the closest parallel to Tao in the natural world.  But it was also the prototype of WU WEI.

...Yet despite its accommodation, water holds a power unknown to hard and brittle things.  In a stream it follows the stones' sharp edges only to turn them in the end into pebbles, rounded to conform to its streamlined flow.  It works its way past frontiers and under dividing walls.  Its gentle current melts rock and carries away the proud hills we call eternal.

...Infinitely supple yet incomparably strong--these virtues of water are precisely those of WU WEI as well.  The man who embodies this condition, says the TAO TE CHING, works without working."  he acts without strain, persuade without argument, is eloquent without flourish, and makes his point without violence, coercion, or pressure.  Though as an individual he may be scarcely noticed, his influence is in fact decisive.

...A final characteristic of water that makes it an appropriate analogue to WU WEI is the clarity it attains through being still.  "Muddy water let stand," says the TAO TE CHING,  "will clear." ...Clarity can come to the inner eye, however, only in so far as man's life attains a quiet equaling that of a deep and silent pool.

In Taoism, nature is befriended.  Taoism seeks to be in tune with nature.  Joseph Campbell was fond of quoting D.T. Suzuki on western religion.  To paraphrase, it went something like "God against man, man against God, man against nature, nature against God...hmmm...strange religion!"  The division of spirituality from instinctuality is fundamental in conventional western religion (though not in paganism).  It is the source of much psychological distress.  Taoism's approach is basically ecological, an organic philosophy of nature.

Taoist philosophy just turns out to closely resemble the view modern science has been forced to adopt after three centuries of mechanical materialism.  Taoist naturalism combines with an inclination for naturalness to emerge as simple living in touch with nature, nature without and within.  Extravagance, honors, prestige, and consumption are of little importance in this philosophy.

THE ESSENTIAL THING IS AN EXISTENTIAL RAPPORT WITH THE TAO.  The Taoist is concerned with a sort of immediate, inner, intuitive enlightenment.  Fundamental to this is the relativity of all values and perceptions, rather than polarized opposites which can never meet.  The Tao symbol graphically depicts the paradoxical union of  opposites, as discrete yet conjoined, as yin and yang.  They express the nature of continuous transformation within the Tao.

Taoism shuns all clear-cut dichotomies for a paradoxical union of opposites.  The great Mystery transcends polarity.  No perspective in this relative world can be considered as absolute.  Polarity sums up all life's basic oppositions: good-evil, active-passive, positive-negative, light-dark, summer-winter, male-female, etc.  But though its principles are in tension they are not flatly opposed.  They complement and counterbalance each other.

Taoism follows its principle of relativity to its logical limit, regarding life and death themselves as relative phases of the Tao's embracing continuum.  This bears on our attitude towards our own mortality, and our ability to feel and express grief.  We have all known those who have gone through life as the "living dead," just going through the motions of life, with little or no connection to their bodies or the greater whole.

Also, our attitudes when confronted with catastrophic illness reflect our philosophy of life.  The motto for the terminally ill has become the question, "Will you live your dying, or die your living."  Living each day anew, as a unique experience, means living with a "beginner's mind."

Taoism is a way of PERCEIVING with a blank mind, which therefore knows nothing of limitation.  There is a story of Chuang Tzu, the foremost popularizer of philosophical Taoism. (He is the one who dreamed he was a butterfly dreaming he was a man...)  While strolling on a bridge with Hui Tzu, the Confusianist, he observed:

"Look how the minnows dart hither and thither at will.  Such is the pleasure fish enjoy."

"You are not a fish," responded Hui Tzu.  "How do you know what gives pleasure to fish?"

"You are not I," said Chuang Tzu.  "How do you know I do not know what gives pleasure to fish?"

The nature of perception was also revealed experientially in esoteric Taoism. This phase arose as the Chinese mind was first discovering its inward dimension and was captivated by it.  This still happens on the individual level when we come in contact with our process.  It is fascinating and captures our attention and creative interest.  We become intrigued with our inner drama, the flow of the stream of consciousness.

Esoteric Taoists believe that successive deposits of toil and worry had so silted up the soul that it was necessary to work back through their layers until "man as he was meant to be" was reached.  Pure consciousness would then be struck; at last, the individual would see not merely "things perceived" but "that by which we perceive."

The Tao is ineffable and transcendent, yet also immanent.  It is eternal and immediate.  It is an infinitely generous fountain, flowing, driving all of nature as the ordering principle behind all life.  It is the way of the universe, of ultimate reality.  It can be approached through magic, mystical experience, philosophical rapport, and the intuitive existential openness.  It manifests as "creative quietude," paradoxically combining supreme activity and relaxation.

Every artist has discovered that genuine creation comes from the release of the infinite resources of the deep self.  It requires a certain dissociation from the surface self, and most artists have rituals for creating.  The unconscious mind must relax, let go, and creativity flows spontaneously.  When the artform is therapy, the creative result is healing.   Personal ego and conscious efforts yield to a power not their own.  Then behavior flows spontaneously; ACTION FOLLOWS BEING.  Lao Tze said, "The way to do is be."

Another key element in Taoism is the VOID, or empty space, or emptiness.  Taoist skill is seldom noticed, for viewed externally WU WEI--never forcing, never under strain--seems quite without effort.  The secret here lies in the way it seeks out the empty spaces in life and nature and moves through these, like water.  Tao, as the inexpressible source of being, is spoken of in some sense as non-existence.  It is the power of passivity.  The Taoist mystic chose to empty his mind, gaining inner perception of the Tao, attaining a oneness with the Eternal.

This emptying, non-attachment, or non-involvement was echoed later in humanistic psychology and Gestalt therapy.  Like Zen philosophy, Taoism encourages us to grasp the moment before it flies and use it to enter the great Emptiness, that Void from which all the ten thousand things have sprung, and to which they still, and forever, belong.  Fritz Perls considered the person who had no fixed character to be the most flexible and adaptable.

Dr. Suzuki refers to the everyday mind as the Tao.  By that he says he means the unconscious, which works all the time in consciousness.  He makes a distinction between the "purely instinctive unconscious" as found in children and animals and that of a mature, "trained unconscious."

By this later term he implied the kind of awareness proper to a really mature human being in which the unconscious experiences gone through since infancy are included as constituting a part of the whole being.  He spoke of the proper use and understanding of the unconscious as "the fountainhead of all creative possibility," and without denying the importance of the mind, he uttered some warnings against the modern tendency to disconnect the brain from the larger field of man's total humanness.

Elsewhere Dr. Suzuki has said, "The function of human consciousness, as I see it is to dive deeper and deeper into its source, the unconscious.  And the unconscious has its strata of variable depths; biological, psychological, and metaphysical.   One thread runs through them, and Zen discipline consists in taking hold of it in its entirety."

THE TAO IS UNFATHOMABLE, INEXHAUSTIBLY DEEP, AND UNFATHOMABLE.

So many modern scientific and psychological principles are contained in this simple philosophy.  It anticipated Einstein's concept that "all is relative."  It echoes the ecological philosophy of shamanism and the modern green movement.  It speaks directly to the "here and now" perspective of existential philosophy, Gestalt therapy, and humanistic psychology.  The pleasure in the simple is a criteria for Maslow's self-actualizers.  One of Jung's major themes was the paradoxical union of opposites, and their synthesis in a grander, harmonizing symbol.

Taoism is one of the root philosophies of world-wide culture which shows the importance of the intuitive, creative, and reverie states--of letting go to experience our primal being as emptiness or the Void.  This consciousness is part of the return of the lost Feminine to western culture.  It is Her voice that has been missing for so long, drown out by patriarchal culture.  Our culture is now becoming one big, chaotic mix.

TO CONTINUE, CLICK HERE FOR 
CHAPTER 1 of DREAMHEALING

Hypnos, Lord of Dreams by I. Miller

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